Art

  • Coffee with a Creative: Bhavini Lakhani of B81 Designs

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we meet Bhavini Lakhani, of B81 Designs, she talks to us about her work, daily routines, inspiration and of course her hot drink of choice.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    A nice flat white.

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I was made redundant as my maternity leave ended in 2011 – rather than be upset about it, I decided to be positive about it and started freelancing. It was a very accidental step into the world of freelancing, but I wouldn’t change any of it! 

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    I’m usually up by 5am so that I can fit in a workout – I find this helps me to clear my mind and usually releases any stress from the day before. It gives me some me time, and also gets me feeling really energised. I also listen to podcasts while I’m working out and I find that it’s a great way to fit that in! I then get myself ready for the day before waking my 2 girls up at 7. I do the school run at 8.25am and once I’m back home I make myself a flat white and sit down to work until it’s time to go and pick the girls up from school at 3pm. Once we’re home, the afternoon is family time. I make dinner and play with the girls, read etc. They have dinner at about 5, and at 6.45/7ish it’s time for them to have a bath and go to bed. If I have a lot of on, I sometimes work in the evenings once the girls are asleep.

    Describe your signature style

    In all honesty, I don’t think I have a set signature style. I’m quite good at adapting to different project briefs and client needs.

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    I’ve had a few amazing projects throughout my career so far – I’ve done a cinema ad which was just fantastic. I’ve also created a gorgeous brochure for British Gas to use at an employee recognition event, and I’ve recently worked with an international coffee machine manufacturer to create a brochure for one of their new lines. The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is a billboard!!!!

    What’s next for the Company?

    I want to be able to work with some medium/large companies, rather than just start ups and small businesses.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    The creative scene in MK is amazing. There’s a really nice supportive feel within the creative community, rather than it being highly competitive. 

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Roxanne at RoxPix Photography. She’s so good at what she does, and she’s always pushing herself to achieve her goals and dreams!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I loved art GCSE and A Level and the next step was an Art Foundation course so that I could try different things and see what direction I wanted to go in. During that year, I found that graphic design was something I naturally gravitated towards. The typical Asian careers of law, medicine etc didn’t hold any attractions for me at all and from an early age I know I wanted to do something more creative.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Push yourself outside of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little…that’s where the magic happens.
    – Look for inspiration outside of the box – just because I’m a graphic designer, doesn’t mean only graphic design inspires me.
    – Sometimes, the ideas that you think are bad…are actually great!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Bevel and Emboss effects on text for logos…

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Busy, happy, blessed, organised chaos!

    What are you thankful for?

    My wonderful family and friends.

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Afternoon tea and cocktails with my husband or my best girlies, followed by a relaxing spa day!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Taking the kids to somewhere like Hampshire and enjoying the wonderful forests and nature we have around us!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    New York – I LOVE how much there is going on, it’s so inspiring and the coffee is just heavenly! The people are really friendly, and I love discovering new parts of the city. Havana comes a really close second though…I love the relaxed Cuban culture, the historic places and the artwork.

    Afternoon tea and cocktails sounds right up our street… where are we going? If you want conviction that this lady knows her stuff then look at our very own branding for Honestly Wonderful – Yes, created by the lovely lady herself – thanks Bhavini, we love it too!! Follow Bhavini on socials to keep up with her fantastic work, love of coffee and inspiration. You can follow B81 Designs on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Sonika Kudhail of The Little Casting Studio

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we are meeting a Sonika Kudhail, of The Little Me Casting Studio, she is one of the many creatives I have had the joy to interview, talking about her, her business and her favourite hot drink of choice!

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Caramel Latte

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I was feeling ‘meh’ about my career as a teacher and wanted a change! I’ve always been quite creative, making weird and wonderful things for home, family and friends! So…my husband actually inspired me to jump off my career ladder as a teacher and do something I enjoy! So as my husband is in the dental field, he came up with the creative idea of taking impressions of babies’ hands and feet as a keepsake! I never let him finish his train of thought and went full steam ahead, with researching, training and The Little Me Casting Studio was born! I’m just an ordinary woman who decided to go for it!

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    My previous work day involved: internal screaming, fantasising about my dramatic exit speech and thinking ‘please give me inner strength, get me through this day’. Well I’m glad to say that is all behind me and there is a hope!!! I wake up excited to start my new life, every morning. I check my emails, social media and get back to any enquiries. Then it’s breakfast and coffee!!

    Then I time block to structure my day and productivity: so check my diary for any upcoming appointments and prepare for them by packing all my materials in a travel suitcase (I’m a mobile caster). I attend any appointments I have that day (no more than 2-3 a day). Take gorgeous impressions of a baby’s hand or foot or both (crazy but fun) and go back and cast them and reveal the lovely results and leave them to dry for 3-4 weeks! Then, just as a Blue Peter presenter says ‘here’s one we made earlier’ (from 3 weeks ago) we tidy and finish the cast, with a special paint and wax and present them beautifully in our bespoke frames. Everyday can be different and meeting lovely customers and their babies is a joy – no more internal screaming!

    Describe your signature style

    It’s got to be our deluxe, contemporary black frame with silver casts, baby picture and name plaque

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Taking an impression of a celebrities’ baby…that would be exciting! Then maybe turning that into pure GOLD!!

    What’s next for the Company?

    The Little Me Casting Studio is only 6 months old…so at the moment, it’s building on my products and getting more recognised! I do have some crazy plans for the future….but baby steps for now

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
     
    The creative scene in Wolverhampton is more vibrant than ever, with so many artists playing their part! From the Arena theatre to the Grand to Wolverhampton as a city, promoting and supporting creativity and small businesses! Wolverhampton is changing and the best thing is opportunity! #wolvesart

    Who is the creative to watch?
     
    All in all, anyone that has the passion and drive in the creative scene is the one to watch!
     
    The Pop Art movement!!! Students ! University of Wolverhampton is home to one of the greatest Pop Art collections outside of London. 

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    As mentioned before it was the lack of happiness in my teacher life that changed me for the worse and it was a wake up call from the husband that changed me for the better! I love being myself and being able to express myself in my work!

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Trust yourself and your skill, it will show in your work 
    – Simplicity – sometimes less is more. Your creative ideas can come in random bursts, but combining them can turn into something quite messy! Strip away anything unnecessary and your are left with a gem!
    – Feedback – an outsider’s perspective can sometimes ignite the extra touch of creativity you are looking for – communicate with your customers!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    People trying to cut corners! It’s annoying, especially when you know they are NOT being ignorant!

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Your dreams CAN be reality

    What are you thankful for?

    I’m thankful for inspiration, support and love

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Food, food and food!! I love doing escape rooms at the moment!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Spa, walks and more food (nice gastropub)

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Dubai! It’s such a diverse place with a lot of culture! It’s also very glamorous and has amazing restaurants!

    Sonika can be found on social media on Instagram and Facebook. Have a look at her work and think about whether you want a hand or a foot casting in solid gold – it would make Sonika’s dream project a reality!

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Charul Bakhda of Gemhance

    Today on Coffee with a Creative we are meeting a crystal specialist, Charul, of Gemhance, she is one of the many like-minded creatives I have had the joy to interview, talking about her, her business and her favourite hot drink of choice!

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Hot Chocolate as i don’t drink coffee

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    Personal experiences of when I was at a dark place in my life and the change crystal healing, Reiki and Yoga brought to make life worth living again

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    Yoga and meditation first thing. Then hello to friends and relatives, get ready, and meet the first client of the day for a consultation followed by admin. Lunch is then followed by another client, more admin, then to tackle the socials like Facebook, maybe Pinterest or Instagram. The late afternoon is dedicated to picking up the children and dinner, their activities, making the jewellery, reading for half an hour and then bed.

    Describe your signature style

    Wirework and Makrame style jewellery

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Painting silk scarfs and silversmithing

    What’s next for the Company?

    Organise Crystal Healing for groups and meditation classes in a studio and workshop environment

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I’ve had personal life changing experience and my aim is to help others benefit from the healing properties of crystals. Especially those who don’t see light at the end of tunnel. I learnt through experience and guidance from my master and so I started helping. I realised people would forget to keep their crystals with them and using my creative side I decided to design beautiful handmade bespoke crystal healing gemstone jewellery so that it looks fashionable to wear and wearers benefit from all the positive energy of the crystals too.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Believe in yourself
    – Map out what you want to achieve
    – Create what pleases you the most and it will definitely be liked by others

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Anything made unethically and leather goods

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Live life to your best

    What are you thankful for?

    Thankful to have great kids and family

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    Going to crystal shops and spending time learning more about the holistic way of living with like minded people

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Walking in nature with the kids, doing Yoga with them within nature, breathing in fresh air. Eating healthy meals. Relaxing and having therapies.

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Zanzibar in Africa, beautiful sea side, small roads, pure air, quiet life. Where my first few years were spent

    Charul and Gemhance can be found on social media on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest. They also have some fantastic products on their website, so take a look.

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Harri Dhokia of Black Qubd

    Coffee with a Creative is all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Harri Dhokia of Black Interiors and Black Qubd.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Latte 

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    I found the courage to believe in myself, understand my worth and challenge myself. I was surrounded by young entrepreneurs who inspired me but it also helped knowing that I had the support.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    The beauty about my career and business is that each day is different. A typical office day starts with me waking up, doing a workout in the morning, shower, get ready, have breakfast, then head to the office. My daily tasks could be from being creative with design on a few projects, to brainstorming ideas with my colleagues or simply having a laugh.

    Although the business is busy, I believe its important to have a light-hearted environment full of positive energy. I’m generally in the office until about 6pm and head out to either meet friends, chill at home with parents or go to yoga / zumba etc depending on which it is.

    Throughout the day I am always in touch with my friends and colleagues which is important to me. I try hard to having a life – working balance but eventually realised that my work is my passion and therefore that is my life.

    Describe your signature style

    With my business name being Black Interiors, its easy to have a black theme running through my project and interiors but generally I have a neutral canvas with the addition of splashes of colour.

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    I actually envy myself with the projects I do have with a client who is amazing. the projects vary from new build mansions to central London apartments. One type of project I would love to experience a hotel project or a restaurant.

    What’s next for the Company?

    Wow…so much! I have some powerful goals in place for the business and its growing day by day. You’ll have to watch this space 😉

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    London is the heart of creativity. The multi cultural city showcases talent in every corner of the city. But for me, nature is the best thing about the city and that is the beautiful colours found in a London sunset. Its mesmerising.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    I’ve always been an artist and fell into a job working with wallpaper and colour schemes after A-Levels. This led me into a job designing kitchens and bathrooms and I worked my way through job after job in the similar field learning and growing at each step.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – I have learnt to always believe in yourself. If you’re talented and are always getting praised for this talent, then believe and value yourself and push yourself harder.
    – Use your creative talent and apply it to life. We are naturally gifted so show it off. and finally …..
    – dream big!

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    That’s a tricky one especially as trends have a cycle and generally filter back through into our lives. The beauty about having a creative talent, we have a natural way of converting something quite ugly into something beautiful no matter what the trend.

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Awesome, happy, passionate, fun and positive

    What are you thankful for?

    My parents…I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and their support

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    People watching, chilling in the sun with friends

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    Taking in the surroundings and going for long strolls

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    I love Dubai. For the all rounder experience of weather, shopping, beach and food. However, for me, every place I visit are created with amazing memories and laughter.

    Harri and Black Qubd are regulars on the social media scene on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest. They also have some fantastic products on their website, so take a look.

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Rachel Ward of Luks Linen

    Coffee with a Creative is a monthly series all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Rachel Ward of Luks Linen.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Small Batch – Latte 

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    After 20 years working in advertising I wanted to try something new – I had a sun bed epiphany whilst travelling in Turkey where I discovered the peshtemal (Turkish towel) and naively thought – I could start a business selling these multi-talented gems here in Europe – 2 years later here we are selling globally and working with family weavers to create a beautifully created range of towels for indoor and outdoor living.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    Hmm – I’m a night owl and not a lark so I probably start my day later than most. Tea and the laptop in bed checking emails and getting set for the day followed by the daily jump into Instagram. The rest of the morning is usually spent managing the website and checking our social media and online advertising whilst a typical afternoon would be a mix of photo-shoots, designing potential new products and liaising with our ateliers in Turkey. As it’s summer we’re also gearing up for the festival season which will see us indulging in our love of music and good food whilst sharing a bit of the Lüks love around the British countryside.

    Describe your signature style

    Less is more – I like quality over quantity, simple lines and good tailoring. Considering I work with pattern I don’t actually wear it myself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Producing a heritage range of peshtemals for Liberty – the perfect excuse to delve into their pattern archives too!

    What’s next for the Company?

    We’re moving more permanently into the US market as we speak and tentatively looking at collaborations with artists to see if we can translate their work on to the loom.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    I’m Brighton based so there’s lot to choose from – digitally there is a real pulse down here that is well supported with events such as She Says and TEDx. Artistically it’s a real melting pot from the Brighton Fringe to the Great Escape Festival – musically and theatrically we are spoilt for choice – put all of that next to the sea and you can’t fail to be constantly inspired.

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Mira Mikati – now she could persuade me to wear pattern!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    For me it’s about physical creation and being able to stand in an interior space and know that it feels right – I always been hands on so it was a natural progression for me to move from advertising into interior design and then soft furnishings

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Don’t start with a screen – start with paper and a pencil – I am forever doodling and sketching…creatively that’s really important – don’t lose sight of it.
    – Make your concepts concise – how would you sell your idea in a tweet – it sounds trite but really makes you think about what is important.
    – Lighting, lighting, lighting

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Faux finishes

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Peaceful, exhausting, hectic, slow and lucky – running your own business you can experience all of this in one day!

    What are you thankful for?

    Having a business that has allowed me to step out of the 9-5 and off the commuter train

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    If we’re talking London then it would be brunch at the Wolesley followed by Tate Modern, dinner and piggy treats at Comptoir Gascon and an evening at the Barbican – just being in that building feels like you’re part of a Kubrick film. Sunday is market day so off to the East End for a spot of Columbia Road, good coffee and then a spot of open mic jazz and swing at the Palm on Regents Canal – all the old boys turn out for a spot of Sinatra – it’s brilliant!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    A lie in! Followed by a long leisurely dog walk with our black lab Sadie and an even more leisurely lunch somewhere like the Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington. An evening BBQ with marshmallows round the fire and chatting nonsense with friends. Sunday…perhaps some wild swimming at Balcombe to blow the cobwebs away and then a hearty roast!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Hoi An – Vietnam – this place is just magical – a world heritage site the low level architecture, cookery courses and tailoring is a must. The night market full of the seas weird and wonderful bounty and streets lit by lanterns.

    Rachel can be found on social media on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. You can check out her lovely products over on her website, I think these are going onto my birthday wish list!!

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x
     

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites

    My new series is all about meeting like-minded creatives and was also on my spring goals list, so here i go with a series of interviews talking to creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! First up we have Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites.

    UrviSheth5

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?
    Herbal Tea? oops

    What inspired you to set up your Company?
    I’ve always dreamt of somehow putting my creativity to good use. From a young age all I wanted to do was create art that people loved. But I managed to convince myself a job like that didn’t exist. I couldn’t possibly create my own dream job could I? So I started my journey, I went to uni, got my design degree and got myself a job as an intern where I learnt how the design world operates and I did as many freelance jobs on the side as possible. I soon came to realise the importance of experience. With every project and opportunity that came my way, my experience in the design field was fast growing, I was gaining new skills and invaluable life lessons. Which led me to become Laura Ashley’s head digital designer. Working for Laura Ashley has been one of the most incredible opportunities. Although Laura Ashley is a huge accomplishment, I felt I had out grown my role as I realised I wasn’t leaning as many new skills or growing as an individual and the only solution was to move onto the next chapter. I just didn’t know what I wanted to explore next or how to figure it out. So now we get onto why did I start RAW invites, where did this idea even come from? My Brother and now Sister-in-law asked me to design their Wedding Invitations. My first thought was I can’t design a wedding invitation, I couldn’t even think of an idea. Now that is worrying for someone who has a design degree and is Laura Ashley’s digital designer, right? But designing for the corporate world vs a personal approach is completely different. You don’t have the same creative freedom in the corporate world, and I had done it for so long I forgot how to design for any other medium. I started designing their invites and day by day I had a new light bulb moment. Coming up with new concepts and ideas, watching their faces and hearing their feedback brought a new sense of satisfaction that I never experienced in my design career, It was absolutely amazing. I reconnected with my long-lost creative side and realised how fun and enjoyable life could be, and I didn’t want that satisfaction to stop. One day my Brother said “Why don’t you design bespoke wedding invitations for other couples? Everyone wants something personal and you love doing it” – Seriously hearing those words especially from him was all it took, and now I run my own business!

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?
    I’m definitely not an early bird! I’d rather work till late and wake up naturally with NO alarm! I will wake up between 8-9am. Guess there should be some perks of being your own boss! – Check emails – Post of my social media accounts – Browse social media staying up to date with trends – Make a priority list of what I need completed (What designs I need to do, what orders I need to delivery, what deadlines are fast approaching, etc) – Client meetings – Printer visits – Come back to my desk and finish off my list – On a good day I can stop work at 9pm-ish – Recently I find myself still sat at my desk past 12! However I’m the biggest workaholic! I absolutely love love love designing.

    Describe your signature style
    If you know me you know I breathe colour and patterns. I actually get told people can instantly recognise my work ‘This has RAW written all over it’ I think that’s so important as you’re staying authentic to yourself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender
    Really want to work with acrylic, wood and mirror invitations as they look absolutely incredible. However the costs are high due to the materials.

    What’s next for the Company?
    I recently launched my very first Custom Wedding Invitation range, which means there is set designs the couples can pick and email across the wording. April was an incredibly productive month for me, I managed to complete 14 different designs with several colour variations, with very little sleep! I continuously need new projects to work on and as I finished my Custom Range I was on the look out for my next exciting venture. Days after saying this I got approached by Kudos Music to design a bespoke suite for one of their events. This was such an amazing experience, being able to design 16 ft signs, dance floors and DJ booths was incredible. What I’m trying to say is I see everyday as a new opportunity and I can’t predict what’s going to present itself to me tomorrow let alone next month.

    UrviSheth4

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
    Creativity can be found everywhere! Look at the world we’re surrounded by! Nature, Architecture, Technology.

    Who is the creative to watch?
    I don’t believe there is a certain creative to watch. I believe we all have creative moments and thoughts, it’s what we do with those moments/thoughts that really determine it all. Creativity can be found in several different forms.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?
    Truth – Designing was the only thing I ever really enjoyed. Hours would go by and I wouldn’t even realise.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?
    – The little details are what make the piece
    – Make sure your type face represents the project/ brand your working for
    – You can never have too much colour (biased of course)

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?
    Standard typical indian kankotri prints. (again me being biased)

    Describe your life in 5 words
    Exciting, Fun, Adventure, BUSY and MINE

    What are you thankful for?
    Being able to live my life doing what I love and for myself. Turning my childhood dream into a career. Sometimes when I’m just driving to client meetings going to the printers, etc I just smile to myself and realise that i’m actually just working for myself, I am my own boss! I that is the most incredible feeling, it just makes all the long days/nights and 0 social life ALL WORTH IT!

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?
    Walking through the little streets, going to parks, finding new food markets! Admiring how beautiful life really is.

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?
    I love the country side, and a good ol hike! Mt Snowdon was the last hike I completed. If you haven’t hiked before, I strongly recommend it.

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?
    I’m not sure! :/

    Urvi can be found on social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You can also check out her work over on her website, doesn’t it look great?

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x
     

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  • Colour of the Year 2017

    Now there is a lot of differing opinions from designers all over the world about the trend that is colour and the colours that mean current to one designer is not the same as what means current to another. Dulux colour of the year is Denim Drift and Pantone colour of the year is Greenery, MY colour of the year is more like a warmer cappuccino grey with a hint of blush. I mean that isn’t to say that anyone is wrong, you’ll find many designers commenting on what they deem to be their colour of 2017 and yours truly is one of them; take a read and tell me what you think, be great to hear from you.

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  • Getting Creative

    So part of my problem has been that I’m struggling to get creative, its through no fault of the universes, just mine. I find myself over thinking everything and so not able to just ‘be’ or get creative with anything. You could say a mind block of sorts. Yes as an interior designer that can be a problem!

    So in order to inspire me I’m assuming I need to actually ‘do’ more creative things, I’ve compiled a lovely list of things that I could do to help me be more creative. What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other ideas that I could try?

    Here’s my pick of creative activities that will ignite some inspiration:

    1. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and depending on how many types of people you follow you can get such a variety of things pop up in your opening page. Its worth spending some time on here and really getting to know how it works, setting your boards up and following different people and others boards. Start by pinning at least 5 pins a day and aim to increase this slowly. You could set yourself a category and only pin things that are relevant to this on a specific day or you could pin lots of random things. I always try to be specific in my search so will pick a category; more recently the keywords I have searched are ‘small kitchens’ ‘children’s bedrooms’ ‘kint sugi’ so as you can see you can be specific and find all sorts of wonderful imagery
    2. Doodling; everyone doodles, it’s a simple way of triggering the creative and generating ideas. You don’t have to plan to do this and it is just something that seems to naturally happen for a lot of people. The best time to doodle, I find, is when you are on the phone. The sub consciousness takes over and you end up drawing all sorts of things that are stuck in your head. Are you a doodler?
    3. Book an inspirational course; there are so many courses out there, there must be something suitable for everyone. Everyone has the ability to learn something new, but most people don’t take advantage of it. Learning a new skill doesn’t have to only mean a ‘creative’ skill, you could learn some new software, learn to speak Japanese or even how to balance books. The great thing about these courses is that they are usually short courses which mean you don’t need to commit to a long time frame and you can learn your new skill and roll on with it almost immediately. I’m thinking that I really need to improve my Instagram photography so maybe I will take one of Emily Quinton’s Makelight Photography courses!
    4. Go and see an inspirational exhibition, the beauty of living in London is the abundance of art galleries, exhibitions and cultural venues in and around the capital. Are there any that come to mind? I think of heading to the Tate Britain to look at the Turner Prize finalists and try to understand how they have come up with what they have!

    How do you plan to get creative? Do you have any other ideas? It would be great to hear what you do to get creative and inspired. Leave me a note below, lets compare lists.

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  • Vintage Interiors

    Its been a while since my last post and i’m really trying to get the momentum going again, being busy is not an excuse… so here goes…

    A friend recently asked me to come and take a sneak peak at a project he was working on and i was taken aback, it inspired me to try and get back on track and get my creativity back into gear!!

    He was working for a client who owns the Hoxton Blues Bar and part of his brief was to ‘age’ the furniture, walls and some of the tiling to make it fit within some of the real materials that were already in the scheme which i think he did quite convincingly… sometimes a project comes along that completely challenges your thinking and makes you look at what you are currently doing and makes you want to change.

    This is how this project has made me feel, it has shown me the the vintage interiors market is pretty big and the creative scope is endless. I have a lot to think about…. Take a look at the photographs (excuse the iPhone quality!) what do you think? Is there a growing market for vintage interiors? Are people now consistently asking for things to ‘look old’ ?

    Be good to hear your opinions….

     

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  • Feature Walls: Cityscapes

    So i’ve been thinking about cityscapes and how I love them visually, I think they’d make a great feature wall and the development from Getty who have released thousands of images for us to use free of charge has made me take this further and put together some of their best cityscapes (in my opinion of course!) which i’d love to use in an interior!

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    or how about at night?

    Embed from Getty Images

    I prefer black and white, there is something romantic about it and the story always seems to have more character and depth, the shadows tell a story…. what do you think?

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    Embed from Getty Images

    I see a private project in the making…. !! Mr P will not be happy …!!

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  • Radiant Orchid: Pantone colour of the year 2014!

    Pantone colour of the Year

    Pantone ‘Colour of the Year’ is Radiant Orchid, this colour lends itself to many associations from the hues of a particularly special sunset to sultry jewel tones. Looking at how the industries have embraced this colour is fantastic, from accessories to jewellery and home furnishings.

    Accessories Amethyst Clutch

    Cushion Decoration

    Jewellery

    Mittens phone case

    Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 13.50.16

    journal

    Sofa

    Tree decor

    Radiant Orchid also pairs well with vibrant colors like teal and orange, as well as neutrals like navy and gray. I personally love it mixed with an antique gold which makes it very regal. It seems to have a richness and lightness at the same time and pairs so well with many cool and warm tones. So versatile and lovely!

    Have you seen anything special that you like the look of? Be great to see what you think looks good in this years special colour!

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  • Wedding Season

    This year has been a manic year for family weddings.

    Now normally you would think ‘aww how wonderful’ but when they are indian weddings this is not always the case!! Hindu wedding ceremonies usually go on for 4 to 10 days depending on how big your family and more importantly your ‘budget’…. so bearing the length of these events in mind i will tell you that I had not 1 but 4 in July, this set the tone for the rest of the year and tiredness only increased.

    Having said that i did enjoy the getting ready, matching sari’s (traditional indian dress) with jewellery and bindi’s, this always involves a lot of prep work before hand and a LOT of space, not to mention the actual task of putting one on!!

    A sari is basically over 8 metres of cotton or silk which is draped over the body, there is definitely an ‘art’ to draping a sari one which i have not mastered too well on myself! Sari patterns aren’t always ‘generated pattern’ and most are free flowing and natural with various styles, colours and embellishments.

    For me this year the biggest wedding was in house and that meant getting design involved… this was the exciting part where I made the happy couple’s wedding invitation sweets box – this is what we give out when going to personally hand out invitations (yes intense or what!), their guest book, table name labels and a massive MASSIVE table plan (its always big when you have 400 people to seat!)

    The journey was sometimes joyous and at other times very frustrating … i.e. making sure that the table numbers weren’t alphabetical and numerical at the same time, it came down to printing all 40 out, laying them down on our living room floor and asking Mr P to number them at random because i got soo confused and frustrated!!

    Anyway, take a look at some of my work below and let me know what you think…..

    Wedding2

     

    Kankothri gift boxes

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  • Explore the World artwork

    This is a piece of artwork I created based on the words ‘Explore the World’ … My interpretation for this work was based on the countries and wonders of the world I have seen and places that I still wish to go.

     

    Explore The World artwork

     

    I hope to one day tick them all off my artwork and be able to post on here on so that you can keep up with my travels and adventures!

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  • London Design Festival 2013

    The definition: An annual event that promotes the city’s creativity and brings in creatives from far and wide. The ‘unique selling point’ of this design festival is that it classes itself as a celebration of design rather than just another weeklong event. It has been going for over 10 years now and was the brainchild of Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans. The Festival program is made up of over 300 events and exhibitions shown by hundreds of partner organisations across the design domain and from around the world.

    Each year the festival finds a new focus on a different aspect of design and showcases different ‘landmark projects’. Landmark projects focus on experimenting with new materials and processes and the London Design Festival always ask great designers and architects to contribute. This year’s landmark project is the ‘Endless Stair designed by dRMM, sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and engineered by ARUP. This ‘endless’ staircase is placed with the Tate Modern as a backdrop, iconic in itself; the installation has a lot to square up to. Alex de Rijke of dRMM describes it as “a three-dimensional exercise in composition, structure and scale and as both a marker and meeting place”. The installation will be open from 13th September to the 10th October 2013.

    Endless-Stair

    My visit to the installation saw me waiting in a queue for about 1 hour. Mr. P was NOT impressed as I had promised him that it wouldn’t be too long a wait, but he too wanted to climb the ‘endless stair’ and so didn’t mind so much. It actually feels quite surreal to be climbing a staircase that you know leads no-where since you can see the top of it!!

    Shoreditch Triangle MapAnother aspect to the festival is the ‘Shoreditch triangle’, which geographically our studio falls into. We started off with a private view by ‘Deadgood’ at The Pitfield exhibition space. Deadgood are producers of contemporary furniture, lighting and interiors. The space looks as you’d imagine it, stylish, minimal and modern and the products are classics with a twist, be it material used or shape. Lee Broom’s new retail store was the next stop for us, he was hosting a private opening party, although when we got there I felt like it had been an open invitation free for all. Over subscribed and hugely packed like sardines in a tin! I didn’t feel like I could see any of his work and couldn’t wait to leave… having said that the cocktails were amazing and so were the canapés which was nice! Stumbling in late was going to be a regular thing this week…

    This year 100% Design was slightly same same, a few nice pieces mainly lighting but everything else was just as normal. The newest addition to this show is the ‘international pavilion’, which showcases work from around the world. It’s always good to see how others are doing the same. The part that I enjoyed the most was the stand with 3d printers on it. Technology has evolved so much, I remember having to vacuum form 3d molds to get objects melted into shape!! In front of my eyes a vase was being created out of string type lengths of plastic. I would love to have myself one of these printers, I even went so far as to ask how much it would cost initially, material costs and maintenance … the smaller ones RRP at about 2k which isn’t too bad… Mr. P however didn’t feel the same way!! I will have to work on him and see what happens… watch this space!! He may have a moment of temporary insanity where he agrees!

    Designjunction is a showcase of the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world. It was held at the 1960s Postal Sorting Office over in Holborn and has been going since 2011. More recently it has been transported to Milan and New York. I didn’t get a chance to go over and take a peek but had a friend who managed to take some snaps for me!

    Final stop for me over the very busy period of London Design Festival 2013 should have been Decorex International the luxury interiors and design show.  However it was soo busy in the studio that I didn’t get a chance to visit. Posts on twitter kept me updated with the goings on and what the stand designs looked like and various guest tweets, photos etc.

    The 10 days or so of London Design Festival are tiring but fun and provide a great insight into how the industry works, new suppliers and new products. It also allows the interiors industry to catch up with one another and renew old or forgotten friendships us interior designers have with suppliers.

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  • Future Cinema presents ‘Dirty Dancing’

    Dirty Dancing

    So a few Saturday’s ago saw a few of us going back to 1963 and taking a mini vacation to Kellermans Resort. For those that know nothing about the film ‘Dirty Dancing’ take a look. The ultimate chick flick and one that should be seen by all at least once!

    Future Cinema is the spin-off from the ever-popular Secret Cinema and in short they are both immersive experiences each with their particular quirks. As ‘secret’ suggests the film that you will experience is not going to be divulged to you until you are at the location they have asked you to be at. Future Cinema creates an immersive and social cinema environment where you are able to ‘experience’ the film in real life.

    Enough on the history, and how it works, as I told Mr P, you really have to experience it to know what it’s all about! He suggested I take the girls with me, as there was no way he was going to watch ‘some chick flick’ as he put it!

    The weeks in the lead up to the event saw emails flooding to my inbox advising me of what to wear, stores that I could get these items, details of ‘dance classes’ that would prepare me for the show and telling me what would be going on at Kellermans Resort during my ‘stay’. It really involved you and made you feel like you were part of the resort and that it was all real.

    Outside Kellermans

    The day of the event we were all dressed in the relevant 1960’s attire and met at Kings Cross armed with our suitcases, beach balls, and popcorn, it felt as if we were going away on holiday albeit only for 6 hours!! We got off at Hackney Downs and followed the trail of many other ladies to the resort entrance.

    Once in, we were registered, given our resort pass and then given an orientation to the resort where we wandered through to all the delights on offer. First we were taught the Kellerman Anthem and then went on to dance lessons, played crochet, and shown the art of soap carving. Soap carving was surprisingly easy to get to grips with but slightly sticky and messy, especially with the winds blowing around us. We rounded off our trip around the resort with a trip to the ‘staff quarters’….. We partied with the staff and learnt their very groovy dance moves just like the movie!

    We then went to the Kellerman’s bar, grabbed a few drinks (it wasn’t that easy as it was soo very crowded) and then went to get some food before we settled down to ready ourselves for the screening of the film. The food stalls were in abundance, the choice of hot dogs, chips, burgers, nacho’s, falafels, lobster rolls, sorbet, watermelons (see the ‘I carried a watermelon’ clip in the film for reference!) and alcohol was amazing!

    We went for falafel wraps, the queue was shorter and the pace at which the ‘falafel man made our wraps was just out of this world, I wish I had recorded the process, we had our wraps in less than 30 seconds and they tasted just as good if not better than the usual 20 minutes you have to wait in restaurants.

    Wine, falafel wraps with toffee popcorn for dessert whilst sitting on a picnic mat watching the big screen in open air is a novel concept for Brits at the end of august… one that we intended to fully make the most of, although it got very chilly towards the end of the night, luckily for me one of the friends bought a large fleece ‘throw’ that we all wrapped up in!

    Once the film was in full swing everyone got into it, and every time a ‘song’ came on the floodlights would be switched onto the crowd and everyone got up and started dancing, dance moves learnt or not, it felt like a really big party! It also kept us warm too!! There were even a few attempts at the running flying hold that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey did in the finale at the end of the film, most not very successfully!

    After the film ended they played about an hours worth of 60’s classic’s and the crowds danced, dispersed and played with their beach balls, in the end the sky was a sight with beach balls flying here there and everywhere! An amazing end it to brilliant night, well done Future Cinema, I look forward to the next one and so do my newly converted friends!

    Thats me for now!

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